Kansas City and its fire department are under fire in a wrongful death lawsuit related to a fatal car accident in December.
Losing a family member is never easy, but it’s even more difficult of an ordeal when that death could have been prevented. One family in Kansas City, Missouri recently experienced this heartbreak firsthand when Jennifer San Nicolas died in a Westport crash in December. As a result, the family is suing the city and the driver of a fire department pumper truck.
The family is represented by attorney David Smith and was the wrongful death lawsuit was filed in Jackson County Circuit Court earlier this week. What happened, though?
Well, back in December, Jennifer was driving an SUV. Michael Elwood was a passenger. While at the intersection of Westport Road and Broadway in Kansas City, a KCFD pumper truck collided with the SUV. Jennifer, Michael, and a pedestrian, Tami Knight, were killed in the accident. According to the suit, the city was “negligent by creating and maintaining the intersection of Westport Road and Broadway in Kansas City, Missouri, in a dangerous condition.” It further notes that the intersection had “dangerous blind spots and inadequate signage.”
In addition to suing the city, the suit also accuses the “driver of the pumper truck of failing to exercise the highest degree of care in the operation of his vehicle, and failed to conduct himself in a careful, prudent and lawful manner.” At the moment, the name of the driver has not been made public due to the pending police investigation, and the case file has yet to be handed over to the prosecutor’s office.
In addition to the allegations, the suit also claims the “city and fire department are vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence.”
When commenting on the matter, Jennifer’s grieving mother, Peggy Ross, issued the following statement:
“Jen had such a beautiful, loving, artistic soul. She was fiercely loyal to her family, friends, and fur babies. The void left in the lives of those who loved her is an all-consuming black hole.”
The family is seeking a jury trial and would like to see “judgment against the Defendants, jointly and severally, for actual damages that a jury determines to be fair and reasonable, pre-and post-judgment interest, costs, and for all other proper relief.”
While commenting on the tragic incident, a spokesperson for the fire department said what happened was tragic. They are currently directing all other questions about the matter to the city’s law department. It’s worth noting that this is the third wrongful death suit filed in connection with the crash.